Adding just the right seasoning can add a wonderful flavour bomb to your chicken taco. PAT PILCHER shows you how.
1 tblspn Smoked Pakrika
1 tspn Chipotle
¼ tspn Cayenne
½ tspn Chilli Flakes
1 tblspn Garlic Powder
1 tblspn Onion Powder
1tspn Dried Oregano
1tspn Dried Thyme
¼ tspn Cumin Seeds
½ tspn Salt
I’d previously written about how easy it is to make tacos and how their crisp, fresh zinginess makes them the perfect summer food. Cold beers and chicken tacos on a hot day are my idea of heaven. If you’re wanting to have a crack at chicken tacos, here’s another handy culinary hack that can take your taco efforts to the next level.
By this, I am talking about seasonings. As much as I love chicken tacos, chicken can be a little bland and as such, it is easily overwhelmed by all the other big flavours in a taco. Adding a simple but clever spice mix can work wonders by allowing the chicken flavour to harmonise with all the other taco ingredients. Add this to my favourite kitchen gadget, the Thermomix, and making your own version of this spice mix is a complete doddle.
There are a bunch of spicy flavours at play, and in this mix, they all give the chicken a lift. Smoked paprika, chilli flakes and chipotle, plus cayenne combine to add a gentle smokiness and a smidgeon of heat. With Tortillas, cheese, lime, garlic, avocado and fresh pico de gallo, the combination is irresistible. Adding a little more body and accentuating the umami of the chicken I also add both garlic and onion powder. Rounding things out is oregano, cumin seeds and thyme, all of which adds a subtle herbaceous yet savoury element. Lastly, I add a pinch of salt, just to kick things up a notch.
Creating this spice mix using your Thermomix is about as easy as falling off a log. Add the ingredients in the quantities listed into the Thermomix mixing bowl. A good tip here is to place each spice container away from the others so you don’t lose track of which spices you’ve added.
Once all the spices are added, select the turbo option from your Thermomix menu. Place the lid with the mixing cup inserted onto the mixing bowl and blitz the mix for several seconds 2-3 times. This will smash up the cumin seeds, onion and garlic so all their flavours are released.
Once this is done, select the blend mode and set the blending time for 15 seconds, and the speed to 7. Place the lid/measuring cup onto the mixing bowl and let it rip.
You should have a fine, fragrant red powder that can be placed in sealed jars and kept for up to 6 months to be used whenever needed.
I tend to get chicken breasts, cut them into bite-sized cubes and put them in a plastic bag or sealable container along with 3-4 tablespoons of the spice mix. After sealing the bag/container, I give them a good shake until there is little or no loose spice mix and all the chicken is coated.
From there, I pan-fry the chicken pieces in a hot pan with some oil on medium heat, making sure the chicken is cooked through but that the spice mix isn’t burnt. From there, just serve the chicken with the tortillas, pico de gallo, guacamole, cheese and salad. It’s a brilliant thing but crazily easy with the Thermomix!